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Four-year bans for drug cheats back in force

TEST SAMPLES: Athletes caught doping will be banned for four years (PA)

SPORTSMEN AND women who use banned substances will be barred from competing for four years, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) has announced.

The extended ban is a reintroduction of the penalty for athletes caught doping – prior to 1997 it was a four-ban, but it was changed to conform to other international sports organisations.

The new, longer ban comes after a series of high-profile doping cases in the sport.

Most notable were last month’s positive tests of sprinters Tyson Gay and Asafa Powell – the American and Jamaican both admitted to failing their tests but said they did not knowingly take the substances.

In a statement, the IAAF said: “The IAAF has an ethical obligation to the overwhelming majority of athletes and officials who believe in clean sport”.

Reacting to the news, British sprinter Jeannette Kwakye tweeted: “Finally, FOUR YEAR BANS for doping cheats in Athletics. Kicks in from 2015.

“Be responsible for what you put in your body! #NoExcuse”

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